Monday, November 26, 2012

Process Post: References

Hi you cool people!

So today's post is going to be a little bit different. Instead of posting a finished piece, I'm going to give you a little insight to my creation process!

So without further ado, let's talk about... REFERENCES!

In the beginning when I was a young, naïve artist (well, moreso than I am now), I had a huge problem with just making things up and not looking at any form of reference. This led to all sorts of problems... impossible poses, indistinguishable animals, and all sorts of other crazy inaccuracies. Only in my college years did I finally figure out the beauty of life drawing and reference images. It can make the difference between drawing a "bird" and a "red-tailed hawk", for instance.

As a character artist, I find myself needing reference a lot for expressions, poses, and details. Sure, I COULD make it up (and sometimes I still do), but I can guarantee that every time I use reference (even if I'm not using the pose/expression in the reference in its entirety) the image is guaranteed to look much more believable. And let's face it - sometimes there's just that damn hand pose you cannot get right!

So here's some examples of how I use references. When doing character pieces, I like to use myself for reference and I oftentimes use PhotoBooth (which comes as a default program with most Mac computers).

Here's a commissioned piece I did last year for my friend J.M. Lee:


For a good amount of these characters I took reference photos of myself, like so:

(It was just dumb luck I had a gun prop lying around!)
As you can see, some changes were made in the final sketches, but for the most part the photos I took heavily influenced the final poses/expressions of the characters.

Where else do I find references and tutorials? All sorts of places! Here are a few of my favorite internet resources:

Anatomical Art (Tumblr)
Photo Reference for Comic Artists (subscription-based, but click here for a free photo pack! Lots of cool comic book poses, some nsfw)
Eye Draw Things
F'Yeah References (Tumblr)
References for Artists (Tumblr)
And, of course, Google Images. :)

Also check out these books!

Facial Expressions: A Visual Reference for Artists
Facial Expressions Babies to Teens

You can also collect your own references from magazines, newspapers... heck, I save old calendars and tear the pages out and use those sometimes. Or use your own - take photos of everything and draw from life! Use anything and everything! The world is your oyster!

And if any readers have any reference resources, feel free to post them in the comments!

EDIT: Here's a recent post about references by the amazing comic book artist Ming Doyle!

Well, I hope this post was helpful. Thanks for reading! I will definitely have some new art up next week, so stay tuned!

~KcD

Monday, November 19, 2012

Sketchdump - Older Psychonauts


Sorry guys, I know I said I'd have something more substantial this week. I just can't show you anything I've been working on. I have a Christmas card in the works, I'm doing another swap for Ten Paces and Draw this week, and I'm still working on that big giant commission.

This week I have... surprise... more Psychonauts fanart (give or take 5-6 years in the future past the first game). These sketches are from this past summer so they're kind of old but I think they still hold up. And they're a nice example of the pencil Photoshop brush I made (which I LOVE, because I haven't been able to find a good one prior to this one).

Psychonauts © DoubleFine

Anyway, enough of my blathering. You all have a good week now!

~KcD

Monday, November 12, 2012

Sketchdump - Lotsa Doggies


Sorry to report that I just have a sketchdump for you all today - I'm working on a big commission right now and that's been eating up all my time this past week, so I thought I'd put up some doodles I've done in the past couple months. They're mostly dog-related but there's also a Thor and a Loki and an Oshawott in there. :)

Enjoy! I hope to have something more substantial up next Monday!

~KcD

Monday, November 5, 2012

Fanart - Vanellope von Schweetz


Jumped on the Vanellope von Schweetz bandwagon - what a great character! Needless to say, I highly recommend everyone check out Disney's "Wreck-It Ralph", which turned out to be a very entertaining and touching film. Bring your Kleenex!

Additionally, "Paperman", the short that plays just before it, is also very wonderful.


Thanks for looking!

~KcD